In 1996 Harkins started working on the Mercy Ridge project, and spent the next three years working with development consultants Co-operative Retirement Services of America and architects Cochran, Stephenson & Donkervoet, developing budgets, analyzing systems, and reviewing progress plans. The scope of work changed many times, and Harkins worked hard to bring the project in at the design development estimate generated one year prior to final construction drawings.
The client is a joint venture of Mercy Health Services and the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and their project is a continuing care retirement community. There are 457 independent living units located in seven wings ranging from four to seven stories, an assisted living and dementia building, a commons building with many amenities, an auditorium, and an indoor swimming pool. The site sits on the highest point overlooking Towson and the Loch Raven Reservoir.
McAuley Commons Building
This community building is the centerpiece of the project, with high quality finishes, including custom cabinetry, wood floors, imported Mexican tile, light fixtures from Europe, and mural wall panels from India. There is a commercial kitchen that will match the best restaurants in the area, providing fine cuisine to residents in the warm and elegant formal dining room. This building also offers an informal dining area, billiard room, bridge room, health room, workshops and an Irish pub.
The assisted living facility at the 30-acre Mercy Ridge Continuing Care Retirement Community comprises two buildings with 35 assisted living units and 12 state-of-the-art dementia units showcasing first class interiors.
Phase II Apartments
This addition completed the build-out of independent apartments on the campus, and included a thirty-space parking garage. There are six different unit types, consisting of one- and two-bedroom retirement community units, with upgrades for cabinets, trim, and casework. All units have a balcony and their own washer and dryer. The Phase II construction was the recipient of ABC Excellence in Construction Award.
The indoor pool at Mercy Ridge is a heavy timber structure covering a 30’ x 15’ pool and hydrotherapy spa with waterfall. The floor is heated from underneath with radiant heat piping, and the climate inside the structure is very well controlled – water temperature is kept at 87 degrees, and room temperature is two degrees above that to control humidity. The swimming pool contract included the installation of a locker room and aerobics room, and renovation of the adjacent space in the apartment building to create a 37-seat large-screen projection TV theatre.
The new auditorium, located near the main entrance to the facility, connected to the existing building. In addition to serving as a performing arts center, it provides a place for community meetings. It is a one-story brick structure with inset granite panels with the Mercy logo. It has a stage for theatrical productions, a video booth for presentations, and a banquet staging area.